Saturday, 27 August 2005
When I was with Magnus on Monday evening, he was tellling me all sorts of facts about IKEA. In Sweden, everyone shops there and the company has a very strong reputation. The founder Ingvar Kamrad started as a boy living on a farm in Smaland, Sweden, buying matches in large quantities in Stockholm and selling them to his neighbours afterwards. This evolved towards the firm we know as IKEA: I and K as the initials of his name, E stood for his parental home Elmtaryd and finally the A for Agunnaryd, the village where he grew up. Originally, back in the late 1940s, Kamprad sold pens, jewellery and nylon stockings. Then, using a simple catalogue he started a mail order system with deliveries via the county milk van.
By 1951 the Ikea founder published his first furniture catalogue as the forerunner of the 110 million copies now published in 34 different language versions.
And the origins of the flat pack? More or less by accident. To transport a table more easily in a car an employee just took off the legs. A simple idea which has become the basis of the company philosophy.
Well - the morning shopping was an immense collection of items including a bed, two wardrobes, a sofa, a sideboard, a table and four chairs, plus other items which will be delivered on Tuesday.
And then a lunchtime pause for Swedish meatballs!
And then more shopping for incidentals, which we carried in the cars.
Thank you, Julie, for bringing structure to this shopping frenzy.